And while we continue to chatter about foolish nothings, let us also drop the pretense of some strange, rogue element being responsible for taking care of
Obama* Osama, shooting down Mumbai etc. An all powerful deep-state will not tolerate a single rogue element, let alone remain ignorant about multi-million dollar operations which required years of planning. Hafeez Saeed may be farting in your general direction but he is just a front-man in this scheme of things.
army demanded the closure of the country’s most popular television
channel on Tuesday following allegations that the military’s main
intelligence agency had ordered an assassination attempt on its star
In a three-page petition to Pakistan’s broadcast
regulator the ministry of defence accused Geo News of mounting a
“vicious campaign” to libel the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate
(ISI) and called for its operating license to be revoked. “The telecast
in question was aimed at undermining the integrity and tarnishing the
image of state institution and its officers and falsely linking it with
terrorist outfits,” the notice said.
The confrontation between the
country’s most powerful institution and its biggest media group was
triggered on Saturday when Hamid Mir, a household-name presenter, was
severely injured when gunmen opened fire on his vehicle as he was
travelling along one of Karachi’s busiest thoroughfares.
he underwent emergency surgery Geo News broadcast non-stop claims,
relayed by Mir’s brother, that the ISI and its director general
Zaheer-ul-Islam should be held responsible for the attempt to kill him.
said he had feared he would be targeted because of his criticism of the
army over its interference in politics and the brutal counterinsurgency
being waged in the troubled province of Balochistan.
journalists run great risks in Pakistan, particularly from militants who
have targeted media workers who dare to criticise the Taliban or
highlight deadly sectarian attacks on religious minorities.
Rumi, a prominent liberal analyst, fled the country after he survived a
gun attack on his car in Lahore that killed his driver in late March.
Mir had demanded the high treason trial of former military ruler Pervez
Musharraf be expanded to include other people involved in ordering
emergency rule in 2007. The trial, which has dragged on since December,
has become an area of tense disagreement between the government which
initiated it and the military which wants Musharraf to be allowed to
leave the country.
In a public show of support on Monday Nawaz
Sharif, the prime minister, visited Mir in hospital and promised a
thorough investigation into the assassination attempt.
The ISI has
a reputation for being an all-powerful “state within a state” and has
in the past been accused of various misdeeds, including the killing of
journalist Saleem Shahzad in 2011 who had been investigating the
penetration of al-Qaida into the army.
But never before have such
serious claims of criminality been made by a such a prominent figure as
Mir, a widely admired journalist whose night time show attracts front
rank politicians as guests and is watched by millions. Although Geo
later insisted it respected the military and had reported the army’s
denials alongside Mir’s claims, the affair has caused uproar within army
Any move to put out of business the most prominent of all
the private channels will be met with alarm by supporters of greater
democracy in the country.
The Committee to Protect Journalists
(CPJ) said Pakistan’s broadcasting regulator should not act on the
“spurious complaint” and called on the country’s security services “to
recognize the critical role of the media and exercise tolerance and
maturity”. “The ISI is free to rebut allegations in the media but
should not try to censor coverage,” said Bob Dietz, the CPJ’s Asia